ANCHORAGE, Alaska — About 20 years ago my brother and I “slept” on a train platform in Norway after we stayed out too late drinking beer with the locals and got locked out of the hostel.
That was a long night.
Last night brought those memories back.
I left Roanoke at 2:30 p.m. and arrived in Anchorage at 12:33 a.m., or 4:30 a.m. Roanoke time. I had grand plans to sleep on the 5-hour flight from Phoenix to Anchorage, but that didn’t happen. I had figured that when I got here I could power through until the place where I’m getting my rental RV opened this morning.
Nope. When I got my bags I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I actually called the local Hampton Inn to check availability. They had rooms. The rate? $181.
“You can’t do any better?” I asked.
“That’s actually a discount from our regular rate of $260,” the guy told me.
I started looking for a comfy row of airport seats.
I found one, pulled a thick fleece jacket out of my bag for a pillow, pulled my ball cap over my eyes and tried to get some sleep.
It’s not like this airport quiets down in the middle of the night. There are flights in and out at all hours. So there were constant “Final call for flight 123 to Seattle” announcements. Plus, they announce over the speakers every hour and half hour. “The local time is 4:30 a.m.” There were also barking, whining dogs. In fact, I’m listening to a pair of whining dogs right now!
Misery, they say, loves company. And I had plenty. It was actually a challenge to find an open row of seats.
Despite these challenges I actually did manage to get a little sleep. Now I’m sitting here drinking a giant coffee and actually feeling pretty human. My RV rental doesn’t start till 1 p.m. but I am going to call soon and see if I can get an early start.
The first of the three other guys joining me for the first part of the journey is supposed to get here in about 2 hours. Our plan is to go stock up on supplies before the other two guys arrive at 1 p.m. Then we head north. After I file this I may head out to see if I can get a picture of a sad sack bench sleeper to add later!